Charity worker killed in devastating pub fire
UPDATE 4.35PM: Emergency services say the fire that killed Brisbane charity worker Steven Green, 26, was a shocking tragedy.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Peter Bradow described the fire as a tragedy for the man's family and the town of Pittsworth which has a chequered history of pub fires.
"We don't like to see any of these things happen and certainly for a small community to have one of these local icons destroyed is not good," he said.
The Tattersalls Club Hotel was built in 1902 and opened a year later on July 1, 1903.
Due to the pub's age, emergency services initially had concerns about asbestos and the structural integrity of the brick chimney, the only part of the historic pub left standing.
Insp. Bradow said crews dampened the ashes for hours before investigators began rifling through the rubble to recover the missing Brisbane man.
1.15PM: The young Brisbane man killed in the deadly Tattersalls Club Hotel fire at Pittsworth had only been in the rural town about four hours when the blaze tore through the historic pub.
He had been part of a group of eight charity workers collecting funds for cerebral palsy research, having travelled out the day before he was killed in the fire.
His distraught friends, also from Brisbane, were frequent visitors to the site this morning, waiting anxiously for any news on their colleague and friend.
The group had checked into the two-storey wooden pub about 10pm Wednesday and had enjoyed a drink before going to sleep.
They had booked a room each in the 20-room pub, and each person was in a room on their own when the fire broke out in the accommodation section in the upper levels of the pub about 2.30am.
Four people were permanent residents and they managed to escape the fatal fire.
Smoke alarms are understood to have been working but by the time the occupants woke up, smoke and flames were already billowing through the structure, hampering evacuation efforts.
The cause remains under investigation and is understood to be a difficult investigative process due to the extensive damage to the 113-year-old pub.
"At this point in time … we are still conducting investigations but I will hasten to add there is information it would appear at this stage it may not be a suspicious fire," Darling Downs Inspector Dave Isherwood said.
"It could have been some fault within the building itself but it's too early to determine.
"It would appear the fire started in that accommodation section but its going to take time."
Insp. Isherwood said 11 people were fortunate to escape the blaze.
"The fire spread very quickly but it is unfortunate that one person appears to have not got out of the fire," he said.
"The information I have is they were here working for a charity organisation collecting and he was one of those workers."
Witness statements were taken at the scene and will form part of the report being prepared for the Coroner.
"It has been declared a crime scene because at this point in time we don't know what the cause of the fire was," Insp. Isherwood said.
"(The investigation) will take its usual course for investigation and eventually a brief will be prepared for the coroner."
11.15AM: Authorities have found the body of a missing man in the charred rubble of the Tattersalls Club Hotel in Pittsworth.
The man had been missing since fire destroyed the hotel early this morning.
10.30AM: Firefighters have begun searching through the rubble of the Tattersalls Club Hotel for a missing man feared killed in an early morning pub fire.
Mangled sheets of corrugated iron are being cleared piece by sine piece from the scene as police and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services move through the debris.
The progress is slow as they search for a Brisbane man feared killed in the fire which broke out about 2.30am in the upper level of the two-storey historic pub.
QFES Inspector Peter Bradow said witnesses and other residents inside the hotel reported hearing smoke alarms.
Neighbour June Oberhardt said the fire was so intense it had reduced the pub to rubble within an hour.
Hotel manager Scott Williams said he was unable to make a comment but was in contact with the owners who were out of town.
He said they were trying to get back to Pittsworth.
9.15AM: Detectives have arrived at the scene of a hotel fire at Pittsworth in which one person is feared to have died.
Criminal investigation branch officers and fire inspectors are waiting to gain access to the rubble which is still being dampened down at Tattersalls Club Hotel.
Ergon Energy crews are clearing fallen powerlines from Yandilla St.
Firefighters and rescue officers are yet to gain entry and continue the search for a man missing, feared dead, in the blaze.
The man is understood to have checked into the hotel last night with a group of friends.
He is not believed to be a local but was working in the area.
7.45AM: The search for a person missing, feared dead, in a Pittsworth hotel fire this morning has been delayed due to the heat coming from the razed structure.
About 25 firefighters responded to the Tattersalls Club Hotel fire at 2.30am, but their efforts to first control the fire then search for survivors were hampered by the intense blaze.
A QFES spokeswoman said the four units were unable to disconnect the power lines which were on fire when they arrived at the scene.
Crews were forced to wait for Ergon Energy crews to cut power in order to gain access.
A part of the front building of the two-storey structure collapsed and gas bottles could be heard exploding through the town.
Four people were originally unaccounted for but emergency services reported three of them had since been located.
One person, believed to be a man, remains unaccounted for and is feared dead.
The Tattersalls Club Hotel was built about 1900.
A police spokeswoman said the cause of the fire was yet unknown.
7.15AM: A person is feared dead after the iconic Tattersalls Club Hotel in Pittsworth exploded into flames overnight.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews are on scene at the fire, which broke out about 2.30am.
Eleven people escaped the blaze but authorities have been unable to confirm the whereabouts of a person believed to be inside the building when the fire took hold.
Pittsworth residents were woken by explosions, with Lynne Vernon describing the chaotic scenes.
"Pittsworth community were awoken by explosion after explosion large plumes of black smoke hangs in the sky as the fire ripped through the building," she said.
"All casuals and residents have escaped according to knowledge to hand.
"The Tatts hotel burnt to the ground in 28 minutes ... nothing left but rubble.
"It is a sad day for Pittsworth community, owners, and staff."
Road closures are currently in place in and around the location of the fire and people are asked to avoid the area.
There is no further information available at this stage.
6AM: One person is unaccounted for after a fire tore through the Tattersalls Club Hotel in Pittsworth overnight.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said persons were believed to be inside the hotel when the first emergency call was made at 2.30am.
About 90% of the structure has been destroyed and one person is believed to be still inside the building.
The hotel is still burning and crews remain on scene.